Almost one-third of unplanned pregnancies end in abortion

Med J Aust , Published online: 7 October 2018

ONE in four women who responded to a national telephone survey reported falling pregnant in the past 10 years without planning to do so, and 30.4% of those pregnancies ended in abortion, according to the authors of a research letter published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia.

Ten years after the only other national household survey on the subject of mistimed or unplanned pregnancy, researchers led by Professor Angela Taft, a principal research fellow at the Judith Lumley Centre at La Trobe University, undertook a national random computer-assisted telephone (mobile and landline) survey (weekdays, 9 am–8 pm) during December 2014 – May 2015. Women aged 18–45 years with adequate English were asked whether they had had an unintended pregnancy during the past 10 years, and whether any unintended pregnancy was unwanted.

Despite the availability of effective contraception in Australia, we found that, as in the United States, about half of the unintended pregnancies were in women not using contraception. Research is required to explore the reasons for not doing so, and to determine where education would be most helpful

Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status, 2017

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Last updated: 15 June 2018

The Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status  aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health and current health status of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The initial sections of the Overview provide information about the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population, and various measures of population health status. The remaining sections are about selected health conditions and risk and protective factors that contribute to the overall health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These sections comprise an introduction and evidence of the extent of the condition or risk/protective factor.

The annual Overview is a resource relevant for workers, students and others who need to access up-to-date information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Accompanying the Overview is a set of PowerPoint slides designed to help lecturers and others provide up-to-date information.

New study suggests risk of birth defects in babies born to women on HIV medicine dolutegravir

European Medicines Agency, 18/05/2018

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is evaluating preliminary results from a study which found 4 cases of birth defects such as spina bifida (malformed spinal cord) in babies born to mothers who became pregnant while taking dolutegravir. While EMA is assessing the new evidence it has issued the following precautionary advice:

  • Dolutegravir HIV medicines should not be prescribed to women seeking to become pregnant.
  • Women who can become pregnant should use effective contraception while taking dolutegravir medicines.

The study, which looked at babies born to 11,558 HIV-infected women in Botswana, showed that 0.9% of babies (4 of 426) whose mothers became pregnant while taking dolutegravir had a neural tube defect, compared with 0.1% of babies (14 of 11,173) whose mothers took other HIV medicines. Final results are expected in about a year.

Women who have been prescribed dolutegravir should not stop taking their medicine without first consulting their doctor.

EMA will update the recommendations as necessary when it concludes its assessment.

Updated Pregnancy Choices Training in July

SHINE SA, May 2018

SHINE SA’s Pregnancy Choices training for has been updated and is running in July. This 2-day course defines and explains all the options available to people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.

It is open to nurses, midwives, doctors, counsellors, community health workers, school counsellors, youth workers, Aboriginal Health Workers, and any professional who encounters clients with unplanned pregnancy.

COURSE OUTLINE

The course covers broad social and political issues and clinical options, incorporating cultural considerations into topics and resources.

  • Global, national and local overview
  • Abortion option
  • Adoption option
  • Antenatal pathways
  • Genetic issues in pregnancy
  • Perinatal mental health
  • Social and political context of health and pregnancy – planned and unplanned
  • Counselling responses to unplanned pregnancy
  • Options and support for young people who are pregnant
  • Resources
  • Application to practice

COURSE COST

$295

COURSE DATES

Date start: 02 July 2018
Date end: 03 July 2018
Time: 9.00am – 5.00pm
LOCATIONSHINE SA, 64c Woodville Road, Woodville
Free parking off Bower Street

Information for Students and Researchers on Unplanned Pregnancy and Abortion

Pregnancy Advisory Centre, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, released September 2017

The Pregnancy Advisory Centre has developed this resource to assist students, researchers or anyone interested in understanding the South Australian, Australian and global circumstances of unplanned pregnancy and abortion.

The following information provides links to resources, services, organisations and their
websites, where indicated, to access the most current information available. Some of the earlier information contained here remains as relevant today as when it was written and/or published.

Poorer outcomes for babies born to teen mums – often linked to low socioeconomic status

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,  02 May 2018

Babies of teenage mothers often experience poorer health outcomes than babies born to women just a few years older, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) first report on this subject.

The report, Teenage mothers in Australia 2015, shows that about 8,200 teenage mothers gave birth to 8,300 babies (3% of all babies) in 2015, down from 11,800 teenage mothers giving birth a decade earlier. Almost three-quarters of teenage mothers were aged 18 or 19.

One in 4 (24%) of all teenage mothers were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Indigenous teenage mothers had higher levels of antenatal risk factors and poorer baby outcomes than non-Indigenous teenage mothers in terms of pre-term birth
and low birthweight.